tv The Last Word MSNBC December 7, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
have a great night. john boehner is now >> this isn't a progress report because there is no progress to report. >> fiscal cliff negotiations. >> one-on-one right now. >> are now a party of two. >> the two most important players. >> the president and the speaker. >> president obama and house speaker john boehner. >> a two-man operation. >> there is no progress. >> we are seeing progress. >> there is a jobs report today. >> unemployment down to 7.7%. better than expected. thank you very much. >> we dropped a whole point in a year. >> there is no progress. >> members of congress are always upset. >> they are taking us to the cliff. >> the momentum is with the president.
>> republicans are totally over the barrel. >> did you say over? >> they should give in to obama on the tax rate? >> nothing is over until we decide it is! >> we didn't elect them to raise rate. >> not me! >> we don't have a revenue problem. >> i'm not going to take this. >> when are you going to fight? >> let's do it! >> how is that winning? that isn't winning. >> i don't think republicans will win. >> south carolina senator jim demint -- >> jim demint says he is resigning. >> his surprise announcement to step down. >> i think i'm in a more powerful position. >> are you kidding me? >> he doesn't have a law to his name. >> he has been a singular failure as a political strategist. >> i think i'm in a more powerful position. >> the disarray of the republican party. >> there is no progress. >> they don't know what they stand for. >> no progress. >> they don't know what to do. >> no progress. >> they have some real soul-searching to do. >> today the united states supreme court -- >> the supreme court used this afternoon -- >> said they would take up the issue of same-sex marriage. >> it really is an incredible day today. >> important social issues. >> the defense of marriage act. >> on the table for the supreme court. >> will the court be ahead of where the public is? >> what a question. what a story. >> good evening. i'm alex wagner in for lawrence o'donnell. will the republicans be able to face reality before we go over the fiscal curb?
with just 24 days to go, it fell to chris wallace to try to get through to the fox news crowd. >> one side is going to have to give, you know. any bet on which side it's likely to be? >> on that issue, i think that the republicans are going to have to give. i mean, it was key issue in the election. it's unsustainable for boehner and the republicans to be in a position where they are blocking a tax cut for 98% of americans because they want to protect the tax rates of the top 2%. that may be right or wrong on its merits. but politically, it seems pretty clear. and you see more and more conservatives and republican office holders who are caving on that. >> later that morning, house speaker john boehner updated reporters on the negotiations with president obama. >> this isn't a progress report because there's no progress to report. >> minority leader nancy pelosi went to the cameras almost immediately after that with a few questions of her own for the
speaker. >> the only obstacle standing in the way of middle income tax relief are the republicans' unwillingness to ask the top 2% to pay their fair share. this top 2%, which by the way gets a tax cut. why are you not bringing this to the floor? is this a forever, forever protection of the wealthiest people in our country at the expense of the middle class? >> at a virginia diner having lunch with middle class people who are facing a tax increase come january 1st, vice president joe biden put the pressure on boehner in the way that only joe biden can. >> folks, this is not hard. this ain't rocket science. it would take 15 minutes from the time the decision was made by the speaker of the house to pass and make permanent middle class tax cuts. the president would probably have me sprint up to the hill to
bring the bill down for him to sign. it can be done like that. it is not complicated. >> the president and the democrats have the poll numbers on their side. 53% of people approve of the job president obama is doing. 53% trust him to handle the negotiations while just 36% say they trust the republicans in congress. and 65% of voters are with the president on a sticking issue in these negotiations -- raising taxes on household income over 250,000. 31% oppose it. and today a new number is strengthening the president's position in the negotiations. the november jobs report shows the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.7%. the economy added 146,000 jobs last month, and that is one reason why today john boehner kind of, sort of maybe entertained the idea of giving president obama what he wants on tax rates, at least rhetorically. >> even if the president got the tax rate hike that he wanted, understand that we would continue to see trillion
deficits for as far as the eye can see. listen, washington's got a spending problem, not a revenue problem. >> joining me now are richard wolffe, the executive editor of msnbc.com and an msnbc political analyst, and robert reich, former labor secretary and a professor at the university of california berkeley. he is also the author of "beyond outrage." richard, i want to go to you first here. the president talked quite a bit in the election cycle. >> quite a bit. >> he did, period, about the fever breaking amongst republicans in congress . >> yes. >> it's been quite feverish of late, which is to say a lot of back and forth, a lot of hot air blown from the house caucus. i wonder if you think that fever might be breaking with the suggestion john boehner said, even if the president gets his way on tax rates, which would seem to open the door to that
possibility. >> it's a bit to latch on to that. they cannot settle on a position. very different from the last time around. and it's true. the white house has said both publicly and privately, look, we're prepared to see all the tax rates go up. what are you going to do about it? that's a very, very different dynamic from what we've seen before. interesting that only 65% number out there hasn't changed. republicans know that they've got two-thirds of the country against them on this particular piece of raising taxes on the wealthy, and that obviously includes for those who don't understand and clearly republican leadership doesn't understand, that does include a lot of republicans. there were 65% who voted a few weeks ago. they're going against their party that is itself unsustainable. >> secretary reich, is it a matter of time? i will point out to rand paul on cnbc last night, floating the doomsday plan. let's take a listen to that. >> i have yet another thought
how we can fix this. why don't we let the democrats pass whatever they want. if they're the party of higher taxes, all the republicans in the house vote present and let the democrats raise taxes as high as they want to raise them. let democrats in the senate raise taxes. let the president sign it. and then they can own a tax increase. and when the economy stalls, when the economy sputters, when people lose their jobs, they know which party to blame. >> is this not saying oh, we don't care -- we don't care about this game is another way of saying we are coming to terms with the potential loss? >> exactly, alex. i think the republicans right now are trying -- they went through denial and remorse. and now they are beginning, at least some of them seem to be beginning to accept reality. and that reality is, yes, we had an election. most people do want a tax
increase on the rich. most people do not want to see their own taxes go up. most people are in favor of extending the tax cuts for the 98%. lower 98% of americans. and republicans see the writing on the wall. the republican crackup is not yet an avalanche. it is not yet a complete capitulation. but i think that john boehner understands and the republican leadership understands it's only a matter of time. but there is not much time left. >> richard, okay, that sounds like an inherently logical position. >> right. >> that they may be cracking, that there may be a deal done. that seeming crackage, if you will, seems to be happening among republicans who are actual legislator. >> right. >> but conservatives do not seem to be going quietly into the night. erick erickson writing on redstate has a new petition, and he has joined sean hannity in this in calling for people to fight against the reelection of john boehner as speaker of the house. he writes on his blog, we must make sure boehner does not buckle this year. it gets easier after the new year. redstate has a fire boehner petition online for voters to sign.
it reads in part in order to save the future of our country, we need to stop those in congress who aren't willing to put their foot down. well need an articulate spokesman in the house who is fiscally responsible and won't cave on principle. as your constituent, i ask you to please stand on principle and abstain from voting for speaker of the house on january 23rd. >> in abstention. what a march in the streets for abstention. with all due respect to the senator for redstate, the election to win was the one in november. and, you know, john boehner is a markedly more confident speaker now than he was last time around. when you have people like rand paul saying, well, there is a way we could maybe vote, but not vote, and let democrats vote, you know, this is what happened with the first clinton budget that went over so well where republicans backed out and then wanted to take claim for the economy that grew out of that clinton budget and the clinton economic policies. they are saying we're not voting for a tax rise or a tax cut. we're kind of abstaining all
around. well, if that's their position, fine. i think they call that not leading. >> secretary reich, what do you make of that? we talk about kibuki theater. is anything more kibuki than that, voting present instead of yes, abstaining instead of casting a vote one way or another? >> it's a game within a game within a game. and it's an insiders game. the fact of the matter is most americans, even if they're called republicans, even if they consider themselves conservatives, they understand that 98% of americans do deserve a tax cut, a continuation of the bush tax cuts. and they understand that the rich have never been as rich, and they've never paid an effective tax rate that is as low in living memory. if we have a budget deficit at all, it is only fair. and you don't have to be -- again you don't have to be a republican, you can be a common sense republican to understand that this requires that the bush tax cuts not be extended for the richest 2%. it is finally getting through. and i think that, again, as richard said, you can be as clever as you want.
you can make all kinds of pretensions. you can abstain, you can do whatever you want to do. this is going through. >> when we talk about abstentions and kibuki theater, that's obviously small ball. but the fact that the president and the vice president are saying we are not going to allow congress to have the power to fight another war over the debt ceiling. >> yeah. >> that to me is a real line in the sand. >> it is. >> republicans are not going to give that up without serious concessions from the democrats. what do you make of it? >> there are going to be spending cuts in this deal, right. this isn't just about tax cuts for the super wealthy. there will be spending cuts. this is where john boehner is going to have to say, hey, we balance things out in some fashion. the president isn't going to go through this again. it's not going to be, you know, charlie brown with a football all over again. and so, you know i understand that there are lots of my former colleagues reporting on the white house who are convinced that the president won't get this through. this is a one-time negotiation. and the white house knows it's going to be too painful.
and frankly, too disruptive to the markets. one thing the republicans keep talking about is certainly. and yet, they want the uncertainty of a default debate. it's not going to happen. >> richard and alex, if i can just add to, that we went through this in 2011 with regard to the debt ceiling. the financial markets reacted very badly. most voters and the financial markets blame the republicans. the republicans were the ones who were threatening the full faith and credit of the united states. they don't want to do this again. and if they do try to do it again, if i were the president, i would say forget about it. just raise the debt ceiling automatically. it's not in the constitution. there are no legislative requirements with regard to all of this. just do it. >> and that indeed is the nuclear option. thank you to richard wolffe and robert reich. >> thanks. coming up, the supreme court will hear challenges to the federal defense of marriage act and california's prop, both of which ban guy marriage. what are the chances a court headed by john roberts will favor equality? that's next.
and jon stewart tells chris christie to his face that republicans only like government when it's good for them. the same day christie vetoes health care exchanges in his state. governor howard dean joins me next, next. and republicans are pushing south carolina governor nikki haley to make the right choice to replace jim demint. will she pick right or far right? that's coming up. [ male announcer ] we all make bad decisions. like say, gas station sushi. cheap is good. and sushi, good.
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comments. so why were they still giving him money? that's coming up. and the supreme court will hear the appeal of an 83-year-old lesbian who was denied federal tax benefits under the defense of marriage act. that's next. we cannot defend the federal government poking its nose into what states are doing and putting the thumb on the scale against same-sex couples. >> 526 days after president obama made that statement, for the first time ever, the u.s. supreme court agreed today to take a serious look at the issue of marriage equality. the court today granted a review of the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in california called proposition 8, and the defense of marriage act, a federal law, that declares marriage is only a legal union between one man and one woman. the defense of marriage act bars the federal government from recognizing the validity of same-sex marriages in states where they are legal under state law. nine states -- connecticut, iowa, maine, maryland, massachusetts, new hampshire, new york, vermont, and washington allow same-sex marriage or soon will. so does washington, d.c. record lines are expected for those wanting a first come, first serve seat during the historic supreme court proceedings. as nbc's pete williams puts it, today's move by the supreme
court could result in the roe v. wade of guy rights. joining me now is political strategist steve elmendorf and chris geithner, senior political reporter for buzz feed. steve, i want to go to you first on this. there has been a lot of discussion and a lot of back and forth whether it's a good thing for marriage equality for the supreme court to take up these issues. some folks think better to leave it at the state level. there has been a lot of progress there. are you bullish or bearish on this? >> i'm bullish. i think the supreme court is going to do the right thing. you know, it's hard to predict, but i think the country has been moving so fast in the right direction. the court is not immune to public opinion. the court is not immune to the wind blowing through the country. and it's so clear where we're moving and the progress we've made in the last five years has been amazing. and i think the court is going to do the right thing. >> chris, let's talk a little bit about public opinion. because we have some polling that shows a breathtaking change of public opinion on this. in 2008, 36% of the country
supported same-sex marriage. by this year, 48% support same-sex marriage. 46% oppose it. a split, but a dramatic, a 20% increase almost in four years. and i wonder, is there -- are we now reaching the point where anybody running for public office is effectively going to have to support same-sex marriage? >> well, i think that it's definitely clear on the democratic side that when president obama came out and said that his evolution was complete that the democratic party quickly fell in line. with the republican party, clearly there are going to need to be further discussions. and days like today will quicken the pace of those discussions within the party. but they're going to have to make decisions about where they're going to fall on this in history. >> and steve, you are bullish. so this would fit in with that. but it would make sense. it would seem as if the court was going to make a sort of landmark ruling in favor of the arc of history and civil rights,
given the fact that they're taking up both doma and prop 8. i wonder where you think roberts fits into all this. >> based on some of the other decisions he has made, i don't think he is quite as conservative as some people think. i think taking up the doma case is really important because we really need to have the defense of marriage act struck down. marriage in the states is great. but at the end of the day, there is an awful lot of benefits that come from the federal tax code that people who get married need to enjoy if you're going to have a fair and equitable situation in society. so i think they made a big step forward here. and, you know, the court is a hard place to read. unfortunately, it's not like the election. well don't have nate silver to read every morning to tell us how it's going to turn out.
but we'll all be watching closely. >> chris, there is a third issue that the justices haven't taken up yet, and that's an arizona law that bars some same-sex spouses from access to state benefits. where do we go on that? what happens to that issue? >> well, the arizona case is a case in which the state rescinded domestic partner benefits for state employees. and the same-sex couples who sued said that they don't have the option of marriage in arizona, and so rescinding the domestic partner benefits was unconstitutional. and they -- they won at the 9th circuit at the court of appeals. and the supreme court today only announced what cases they're going to take. it's possible that they denied that request by arizona governor jan brewer to take the case. and if they did that, then the -- they would maintain their
benefits and the appeal would be gone. or the supreme court could choose to take the -- to hold the case until they have decided these other issues. we'll find out whether or not they denied the case on monday most likely when the court lists its other orders. >> steve, i want to play a little bit of sound. george takei was on the show last night, and he was offering his defense of marriage equality. let's take a listen to that. >> the core value of marriage is two people who love each other and who are committed to each other. you want security for your spouse, whatever may happen. and our laws do not provide that. in the case of homophobia, we are literally members of the family. we are sons and daughters of heterosexual parents. we are brothers and sisters. we are literally kin, blood kin. and yet we deny the lgbt member of the family the same legal protections and rights that they enjoy. it's irrational. >> steve, we -- you know, this has been called a guy rights issue, but really, it is a civil rights issue.
and when you hear an argument, an eloquent argument like that from george takei, it underscores the fact that this is an irrational argument, and it's almost sort of an inevitable, it's the inevitable course for the united states. i wonder what you make of house republicans who have tried to stand in the way of marriage equality. do they have a platform to stand on if the -- given the fact that the supreme court has decided to take up prop 8 and doma. >> i think it's very clear from the results of this election that the republican party, if they're going to succeed long-term, if they're going get back in the presidential election game is going to have to change their position on guy marriage. you know, younger people in particular are just -- it's inevitable. they're moving more and more towards this. and, you know, if you listen to ted olson, who is a deeply conservative republican, who was ronald reagan's solicitor general, you listen to him talk
about this issue, and he is going to be one of the people arguing the case, there is a deeply conservative position to be taken here that two people who love each other, who want to spend their life together ought to have, no matter what their sexuality, ought to have the same rights as two heterosexual people that want to live together. and that's just a basic fairness. and, you know, conservative republicans should be for two people who love each other. it's family values that two people who love each other want to be together. >> indeed. it is family values indeed. steve elmendorf and chris geithner, thank you. >> thank you. from now on jim demint won't just be pushing the fringe of the senate to the right, he is going to be pushing his whole party. and chris christie goes to washington to ask for government help while vetoing his own state's moves to support health care reform.
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chris christie goes to washington to ask for government help on the same day he shuns washington health care reform. and ann coulter blames one man for making the war on women a real problem for republicans. you can say he made it legitimate. and next, south carolina governor nikki haley has decided whether or not stephen colbert should replace senator jim demint, and also whether nikki haley should replace senator jim demint. [ male announcer ] this is amy. amy likes to invest in the market.
so she's always ready to take action, no matter how wily... or weird... or wonderfully the market's behaving... which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. the decision on who will replace demint falls to south carolina governor and friend of the show nikki haley. but who will she pick? let's see. you want somebody young, somebody conservative, somebody from south carolina.
maybe somebody who had a superpac. wait a second. i know when i look at the u.s. senate, i say to myself, you know what they could use? another white guy. >> in the spotlight tonight, how jim demint's departure will hurt the republican party. governor nikki haley writes on her facebook wall that she will not appoint stephen colbert to south carolina's vacant senate seat. stephen, thank you for your interest, but you forget one thing, my friend. you didn't know our state drink. big, big mistake. >> what's the state drink? [ laughter ] >> there is a state drink? >> it's milk. [ laughter ] >> haley also writes on her facebook wall, he will make this decision quickly. number one, he will not take the appointment myself. number two, i will appoint a person who has the same philosophy of government that jim demint and i share. here is what senator demint and
the current heritage foundation president told rush limbaugh yesterday. >> well, i can say boehner is not forcing either of you guys out, right? >> that's pretty true. it might work a little bit the other way, rush. >> joining me now, msnbc's ari melber and "the huffington post's" ryan grim. ryan, you can't -- these guys can't just go quietly into the night there has to be a little zinger, a little fork in the eye to john boehner on the way out. i wonder what you make of demint's departure from the senate. is it better for democrats or for the republican party? >> well, it's certainly better for jim demint. his salary increased something like six-fold. plus, he can start making income on the side that would have been unseemly for a senator. and meanwhile, let's give jim demint serious credit. a lot of senators come to washington middle class or upper middle class. then they live in the $170,000 salary, and somehow 12 years
later, they're worth $20 million. and you don't really know quite how that happened. jim demint didn't do that. his net worth was listed at something like $65,000, which has to make him one of the poorest people in the united states senate. 10 certainly he's better off. you know, he is an activist at heart. so going back into the movement purely is good. and you know what? for political junkies, this is good too, because nothing is more fun than south carolina politics. and now we're going to have two race, 2014 and 2016 to watch, whereas with jim demint it was a forgone conclusion. >> jim demint's record in congress is not all that great, which is to say actually pretty bad. he picked some winners. ted cruz, rand paul, marco rubio, jeff flake. >> right. >> but he is also the guy that gave his personal seal of approval to crazies like christine o'donnell and sharron angle and richard mourdock and todd akin.
in the end, is this a net-net win for republicans who have some amount of their sanity, a shred of it left? >> not necessarily. when they did the count of his 35 major legislative proposals, none were enacted into law. as you were reporting, alex, it was really the king maker status and the relationship with the tea party that he leveraged more so than doing anything specific on the hill. having said that, what i think is particularly interesting is this reflects sort of the weird moment that we're in political life in the country. participation is very high. democracy is very low. and so while people are turning out to vote, and we have all this incredible enthusiasm out there. we just had this big long election. we have a congress that everyone knows is broken. we have money that really, you know, floods the system. and we have a senate in particular that has record-breaking filibuster and obstruction rates under this administration as compared to every other in history. so when we look at someone like jim demint, who as ryan said is a bit of an activist and wants
to make sort of big change, being in government isn't necessarily the place to do that. and we've spent a lot of time talking about grover norquist, another person out of government in the mind of everyone serving in government. and that is a way to make change. >> ryan, we talked about the heritage foundation. and if he is going to be an activist, is heritage the right place to go? senator demint is the one who said if we're able to stop obama on the affordable care act, it will be his waterloo. it will break him. the idea for an individual mandate which is the centerpiece of the affordable care act was birthed at the heritage foundation. >> right. but i think jim demint can kind of shape the heritage foundation to his political will. and the fact that he is able to
go to the heritage foundation actually says a lot about where the two parties are on the spectrum. you could never imagine a democratic senator the equivalent of demint. you know, you couldn't imagine somebody like bernie sanders, for instance. you couldn't imagine him going to run the center for progress there is too much daylight between the establishment in washington and the kind of left wing of the democratic party. whereas there is no daylight between the far right in the senate and the washington establishment, the heritage foundation, these type of folks. so what jim demint going here does, it continues to strengthen that infrastructure. and he is on the action side. he is on the election side. so he is going to make sure that impure republicans are not getting through primaries, which are going to keep pushing them that much further to the right. i don't think he got any weaker by walking out of the senate. >> well, i guess it's how does it serve the republican party. these think tanks are supposed to be idea factories, effectively. can we actually imagine demint crafting a piece of viable legislation that has to deal with immigration reform or energy reform or any kind of
reform period, ari? >> no. clearly not from his record. and i don't think he would claim otherwise. he is all about setting down standards, holding the line. not working towards losings. not trying to make government work. i mean what you can say about him he has been honest about his world view. it is a world view where we spend more time worrying billionaires and everyone else, and where government failure is sold as a success. that is literally the idea. and so they're going to go out now and try to do more things to jam up the senate and to tie the hands of government. that's why their deficit goals, that's why they're obsessed with using a lot of long-term scare tactics to basically continue to shrink this government. the one quibble i have with what ryan said, i'm not sure that he alone controls this foundation. cato has had a lot of pushback from the koch brothers. at the end of the day, its people who write the checks.
>> republican think tanks, good luck to you all. ari melber and ryan grim, thanks to you both. >> thanks. ann coulter knows who to blame for the war on whim. and chris christie hates big government until chris christie needs big government. christie's moves to the right and center are next. chris christie. who have ed andr, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure. men with breast cancer or who have or might have prostate cancer, and women who are, or may become pregnant
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the week before the storm, you were out there, president obama couldn't lead his way out of a paper bag with a fist full of 20s and a tank. then right after the storm was over, you were like this man is a leader. doesn't that -- doesn't that tell you something about the game? what does that tell you about the game? >> what it tells me is people have different skill sets at different times. that's what it tells me. >> i see. so he wasn't a leader until you needed leadership?
>> when it comes to his relationship with president obama, new jersey's republican governor chris christie is stuck between a rock and a hard place. which might explain two things christie did over the past 24 hours. first, christie visited president obama at the white house asking for $83 billion in extra hurricane aid to help with cleanup. the very same day he vetoed a bill drafted by his state's democratic legislature that would have billed health care exchange, which aims to subsidize insurance for low and middle income americans. in a statement explaining the rejection, governor christie stated a lack of information from washington. quote, i will not ask new jerseyans to commit today to a state-based exchange when the federal government cannot tell what's it will cost, how that cost compares to other options, and how much control they will give the states over this option
that comes at the cost of our state's taxpayers. that makes new jersey state number 19 to say no to the affordable care act's offer for a state-run health insurance exchange, and it puts christie in the ranks of governors like jan brewer in arizona, bobby jindal in louisiana, and scott walker in wisconsin. during his appearance on the daily show, jon stewart took christie to task over his obama care stance. >> the difference is that here we have people in new jersey who are in a crisis situation that could not be anticipated. and from my perspective, the
federal government has always stood up for that proposition whether it was katrina, ike, gustaf, they've come forward and done that. nothing different here. >> here is my point, and this is where i part ways with the republican party in an enormous way. 2/3 you have cancer and you don't have health insurance, that's hurricane sandy. >> christie did tell jon stewart that he may change his mind on a state-run exchange later. joining me now former dnc chairman and former vermont governor howard dean. governor dean, thanks for joining us. my first question is -- >> thanks for having me on. >> what are the implications of christie's veto for new jersey residents? >> well, leaving the politics aside, it's very interesting. i actually think the republicans who really don't quite a clue on health care are actually with this particular shenanigans forwarding the notion of a single payer. you're now going to have a federal exchange, a uniform exchange run by the federal government, presumably with a uniform national standards in 19 states, all of which apparently are going to be run by republican governors. so i think it's pretty ironic that they're doing this. as far as the implications for the people of new jersey, i think it's fair to say that the federal exchange will probably go into effect later than the individual state exchanges because of the scale that is needed to run a federal exchange. so i think the states that have signed up to do this will go ahead, which means the program will be in place earlier for people in states where the governors have decided they would run the exchange. >> governor, we've been talking a lot about kibuki heat their
season. and it seems to me that a lot of these sort of state level fights against implementing parts of the affordable care act are a version of kibuki heat owner a state level, which is to say chris christie has taken a beating from conservatives. remember rupert murdoch saying he had a biting post on twitter and said that the governor would be responsible for mr. obama's reelection because of the photo ops he had with him during hurricane sandy. it seems like this is almost christie's red meat to the conservative base saying, look, i may be arm and arm with the president, but at the end of the day, i'm still holding the line on conservative principles. >> i think that's true, although why anybody would pay attention to anything rupert murdoch put on twitter is beyond me. i'm surprised he didn't wiretap them first. but the fact of the matter is
there is a lot of posturing and bad governance talked about by the republican governors. in fact, at the end of the day, i think they will be governors first and politicians second. they all take the medicaid money with a possible exception of south carolina, which seems to have a long history of doing things that aren't so good for its population. and i think all those other places have great hospital systems. and the hospital system are going to say look, we don't have any support from the federal government for uncompensated care anymore. medicaid was going to be it. and you're going to turn down medicaid and wreck your hospital system? not very smart. because guess who is going to pick up that tab? the people who buy insurance in that state. and when people figure out that the governor's action of refusing medicaid is costing them a lot of money and hurting their hospital system, i don't think any governor in the country, again, the possible exception of south carolina is going to refuse that medicaid money. so this is kibuki. this is theater, and they can't do it. >> there is also -- governors are much more -- i always say that republicans have an easier time in capitol hill under the capitol dome than they do in the state house, because governors are much more -- they're in
touch with and accountable to their constituents. and you got to thinking as you said, as you outlined, this is not a great move for residents of the state. it undermines, especially the expansion of the medicaid roles. this undermines, you know, a governorship, if you make this decision. and, yet, christie's approval rating is still extremely high. this all happened today, of course. but he is at 69%, which is down from 77% right after hurricane sandy. he is riding high, governor dean. does this -- does this hurt him in the long run, do you think? >> i think not taking the exchanges probably doesn't hurt that much because people don't really fully understand the exchanges yet, and because the federal exchange will probably move the cause of the single payer further down the line. but i think not taking the medicaid money will be an enormous mistake. i have not heard him say that, and i don't think he will say that. i think he is much too pragmatic for that.
>> we talk about chris christie being a sort of standard bearer for bipartisanship largely because of the photo ops around hurricane sandy. but when you look at his political record, he has not been particularly supportive of unions, and hazy been very much criticized by the left for shutting down infrastructure spending. >> i think, you know, he is basically positioning himself for reelection. he has done that pretty well. but let's not forget that george h.w. bush had popularity ratings in 11. it's a long, long way before 2013 when he has to run for election when we get a new governor in virginia. and anything can happen during that time. but christie is not a stupid politician. he has figured out this is a democratic state. people like obama. the state voted overwhelmingly for obama. on the other hand, he is hoping to be, i think, maybe the nominee in 2016 for the republican presidential nomination.
and so i think you're exactly right. he is hedging his bets. he is saying things he can say to feed red meat to the base, which he probably doesn't intend to carry out. and at the other hand, he is making photo ops with the president. he'll probably run on some sort of a bipartisan approach because that's actually what people really want. >> can chris christie be everything to everyone? we shall see. governor howard dean, thanks as always. >> thanks for having me on. up next, republicans ran away from the legitimate rape candidate in public, but still backed him in private. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. and also to build my career. so i'm not about to always let my frequent bladder urges, or the worry my pipes might leak get in the way
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if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> in november, missouri voters shut todd akins' whole thing down by voting for incumbent claire mccaskill, who won the senate race by 16 points. establishment republicans publicly shunned akin after his remarks on legitimate rape and vowed not to help his campaign. the national republican senatorial committee said in september that it had, quote, no plans to fund akin's campaign. but according to usa today, the state party reported paying almost exactly that amount, $756,000 to strategic media placement, an ohio firm that akin had used to buy his tv time. a report shows the funds were for w. todd akin. and republicans weren't worrying that he was costing the senate. ann coulter blamed him for being the face of the war on women. >> look, that whole war on women chitchat about that campaign
that was being waged against republicans, it was meaningless until todd akin. >> joining me now, msnbc's karen finney. karen, when i found out about this, i let out an audible yelp. i could not believe after all that the nrcs ended up funding todd akin. what did you make of it? >> you know what? business as usual. even at the time i felt they were hedging their bets a little bit because it was not realistic to me that they would give up the shot. if he wasn't going the get out, they were not going to give up the shot of potentially taking back that senate seat. there was no way politically. and they knew frankly the fec reports wouldn't come out until after the report. and then we could all get exercised about it. whatever happened, happened. >> did whatever happened, happen? does the republican party see any blowback from this? this is the democratic senatorial campaign response. s it is not only wrong that the
nrsc would provide funds to support a dangerous extremist like todd akin, it was underhanded and dishonest that they would purposely mislead the public about their actions. >> i think where they'll have to answer to it is in the bigger picture. and not surprisingly, i disagree with ann coulter on this one, even though she has been saying some rather sensical things of late. the war on women, and that was the biggest calculation i think that the republicans made. it actually really started with the whole incident around susan g. komen and the planned parenthood defunding where women started to see and hear a level of conversation about the importance of women's health and the politicization of women's health that they were very uncomfortable with. they couple that with, and there are state measures and there are some going on now where they're trying to give fetuses tax status and personhood amendments still out there. women were already angry at the level of conversation, the
disrespect in that conversation, and the sort of lack of equality just in the way that that conversation was being had. then we had the birth control piece. then we had, you know, and even we ended up towards election day in the key battleground states, majorities of women said access to abortion care was their top issue over the economy and jobs. so, again, it wasn't just about what todd akin said. that galvanized i think for a lot of women. and mourdock's comments i think galvanized for a lot of people. but it was much deeper than that. >> you're talking about mourdock's comments. the nrsc supported mourdock in his bid after he made his comments. the question i guess for the republican party, whether they come to their senses? neither akin nor mourdock won. >> yeah. >> it seemed to be a repudiation
of all their issues on women's health and women's health care. and there is a fundamental understanding that republicans need to muzzle, if not excise the elements of their party that are putting this element forward. >> let's see, alex. last week the house republicans had an opportunity to show that they get it that women should be at the table. and what did they do? not a single woman chair. and then they -- of any committees. and then they got in trouble. so they appointed a woman chair of the administration -- administrative committee, right? so no. i don't think it's really sunk into the consciousness of the republican party yet that, you know, you need to take these issues more seriously, that there will be consequences and backlash. there may not be against the nrsc at this point. but certainly, hopefully they'll learn in the future that candidates, and it's also not in a matter of let's not say legitimate rape or transvaginal ultrasound. it's let's not propose those things. it's more than that. and it's part of what women have to do going forward is holding these guys accountable so that there are consequences for that kind of language and that kind of action. >> the appointments of the chairs was actually a head-slapping moment for me. how could these guys screw this up again.